One of the nominees cleared by the Senate as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Asma’u Sani Maikudi, has been denied her letter of appointment due to pressure from some vested interest at the Presidency.
The name of Dr. Asma’u, from Katsina State, who was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari in March, alongside 26 others to fill the quota of 27 states, had reportedly passed all stages for the appointment, including clearance from the DSS, the Code of Conduct Bureau and was thereafter confirmed by the Senate on July 20.
It was gathered that though President Buhari pencilled her for the post based on merit, some forces in the Presidency were allegedly not comfortable with her representing Katsina State.
The Senate had divided the 27 nominees into two batches and confirmed the first 15 on June 1.
On July 20, the Senate confirmed eight of the remaining 12 nominees including Dr. Asma’u Maikudi and deferred the confirmation of four others.
Those whose confirmation was deferred included nominees from Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara and Lagos states over some contentious issues.
During their confirmation, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi) told the Senate that in the course of the committee’s interactions with Maikudi, they were convinced of her suitability for the job.
Also in a telephone interview last night, a member of the committee, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), said Dr. Asma’u Maikudi’s choice was unanimously affirmed by everybody and was a wise choice for the job.
Our correspondent reports that when a question was raised by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki on her confirmation, senators voted in support of the decision.
It was further gathered that the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) had on Monday issued letters of appointment to all the remaining seven of the RECs that were cleared by the Senate but the Katsina nominee was denied hers.
Those who got their letters included Mr Sam Olumekun (Ondo), Prof. Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Kassim Gana Gaidam (Yobe), Jibrin Zarewa (Kano), Prof. Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Mr. Mike Igini (Delta) and Abdulganiyu Raji (Oyo).
Speaking with the Dr. Asmau Maikudi said she was aware that her colleagues got their letters.
“We were all directed from the office of the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters to go to the SGF officer for our letters ahead of our swearing-in. However, when we got there, only seven letters were brought by the SA to the SGF; mine was missing and I was only told that it was an order from above,” she said.
Contacted, the Director of Press in the Office of the SGF, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, said he was not briefed on the issue.
When told that other nominees cleared alongside Maikudi have received their appointment letters, he said he was not aware and that he would check today.